Pirelli New Tire Compound Range for FIA World Rally Championship Details:
- Includes four completely new tires
- RK designed for asphalt use
- Sottozero and Sottozero Ice designed for cold, snow and ice
- Scorpion XR designed for gravel
Pirelli has revealed its new tire range for the World Rally Championship (WRC), which includes four completely new tires intended for a wide range of rally championships around the world. The new ranges were launched at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham January 10.
"The hallmark of our new tires is their versatility, but at the same time their specific focus," explained Mario Isola, Pirelli's Racing Manager, who presented the new tires and explained their characteristics. "So we have developed tires like the RK for asphalt and Scorpion for gravel that are suited to wide variety of rallies, both on the World Championship and the European Championship. We've also developed some specific tires for more specialized events, such as Monte Carlo and Sweden. In line with the sporting regulations, we will have just one tread pattern for asphalt and gravel. This brings our competition tires even closer to the tires we make for the road."
The tire that will be used most often is the new RK in 235/40R18 size available for all top cars from the new R5 class upwards. Designed for asphalt use, the tire has two longitudinal grooves (on the internal part of the tire), meaning the tires can be used in both dry and wet conditions. This tire will be available in two compounds for WRC, hard for dry conditions and soft for wet or low-grip conditions. A third, exclusively for Monte Carlo, is a supersoft for extremely cold conditions.
An additional asphalt compound will be available for Monte Carlo called Sottozero in 235/40R18 size. Two versions will be available including studded for snow and ice and no studs like a normal road car.
For gravel rallies is the Scorpion XR in 205/65-15 size with a symmetrical tread pattern that enhances durability and increases resistance to punctures. The tire is available in two compounds, including hard for the most abrasive conditions and soft that can also be used for cold conditions.
Rounding off the line is the Sottozero Ice in 205/65-15 featuring 380 studs exclusively for Rally Sweden and is meant for snowy and icy stages.